National Geographic Tops 1 Billion Likes and 18 Million Followers

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National Geographic has now been crowned the top non-celebrity account on Instagram. They have 18 million followers and over a billion total likes. The NatGeo vice president of social media, Rajiv Mody said, “One of the keys to our success on Instagram has been the incredible collaboration between our photo team and some of the best photojournalists in the world.”

Additionally, Instagram director of community, Amanda Kelso also said, “The @natgeo account represents the best of Instagram, with images that instantly transport you to some of the most unique and remote places in the world. With its team of photographers, National Geographic has embraced the storytelling possibilities of Instagram and built an enormous following with a diverse, new generation of people who can explore the world through its imagery.”

Check out some of our favorite photos from National Geographic’s account.

@amivitale – These baby pandas at Dujiangyan Panda Base were born weighing only a few ounces and will grow to 40kg by the time they are 6 months old! Among the shyest and rarest animals in the world, the giant panda spends about two-thirds of its day feeding and the remainder resting.



@paulnicklen – Greenland huskies get excited for a day of pulling a sled across the sea ice near Qaanaaq, Greenland.



@JimRichardsonNG – Prairie Rebirth: America’s last great Tallgrass Prairie has begun again the springtime ritual of fire, death, and rebirth. Lines of fire arc across the Flint Hills consuming last year’s dead grasses to make way for this spring’s lush growth. Ranchers here in Kansas now replicate the ecosystem’s burning patterns which Native Americans used before them and which natural fires (sparked by lightning) produced before man ever came to the Great Plains.



@andy_bardon – A shooting star high above the Tien Shan mountains of Kazakhstan with  @SherpasCinema and @anjin_san.andy_bardon


@stevemccurryofficial – Cambodia: The man playing with the young pup is the temple’s caretaker. The once-glorious building has been left in the condition in which it was discovered. Over time, the thick roots of the jungle trees have become entwined with the building to the point that they appear one and the same.



@argonautphoto – Silhouette of a tree at the bottom of the #GrandCanyon, Arizona. Despite its natural grandeur, development pressures are growing on all sides of this National Park, looking for ways to turn this beauty into cash. A 1.2 mile long tramway proposal to carry 10,000 people a day into canyon’s heart has pushed this magnificent river canyon to the top of the #endangered list.



@stevemccurryofficial – A shepherd in Kashmir warms himself in the trunk of a Chinar tree. Pahalgam, Kashmir, India, 1998. The Chinar tree is central to the culture of Kashmir. Almost every village has at least one, and many believe it promotes good health. Most of the world’s chinar trees are in Kashmir.



@shonephoto – Two scientific explorers descend into the icy depths of a moulin on the Gorner Glacier, Switzerland. The freshly exposed rock above the glacier on the left-hand side shows how the ice has melted under an increasingly warm world. These explorers are mapping the changes taking place beneath the surface. Their work must be carried out at night because high daytime temperatures create vast amounts of melt water making exploration difficult and dangerous.



@brianskerry – Dolphins have the biggest brains relative to body size in the animal kingdom (after humans), but what exactly are they doing with this big brains? They see their world acoustically, are voluntary breakers and sleep with half of their brain awake. They are highly social, tremendous problem solvers and use tools. But there’s a lot more to the lives of dolphins and we’re only just beginning to understand them on their terms.



@beverlyjoubert – Zebras fight their way amongst the Tortilis trees in Kenya’s Amboseli, kicking up dust from the sandy ground that accumulates in the air like early morning mist.



@jimmy_chin – Dreamtime on the Bow River, Alberta.



@shaulschwarz  – Japan|April 11,2015 – Japanese snow monkey take a bath at the world famous Jigokudani, Yokoyu River. 200 or so Japanese Macaque monkeys inhabit the area.



@ciriljazbec – Northern Lights over ‘Big Island’ mountain in Uummannaq, Greenland. They are steeped in legend and mythology. Greenlanders believe that when the Northern Lights dance around the sky, it means that the spirits are playing ball with the skull of a walrus. Some people also say that it’s with a skull of a human being, and when we whistle, they will come down and take our skulls and play with them.



@mattiasklumofficial – A playful and very curious orphaned orangutan leans in to take a closer look at my camera lens at the BOS Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rescue Center, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Due to huge logging operations and the palm oil industry orangutans and their forests are in constant jeopardy. “Orangutans share many intellectual qualities with African great apes and humans, likely because of their recent common ancestry. They may also show unique intellectual adaptations because of their long evolutionary divergence from the African lineage”.



@coryrichards – Grosvenor Arch, located in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, under fast clouds and stars. The arch was named after Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor, a seminal President of the National Geographic Society.



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